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Hole in cow's skull may be proof of early medical experimentation

Hole in cow's skull may be proof of early medical experimentation

Science
April 19 (UPI) -- More than 5,000 years ago, a group of people living in what's now France drilled a hole in a cow's head. Researchers believe the ancient bovine skull is the earliest evidence of animal surgery yet recovered.Scientists used advanced imaging to study the hole and determined it could not have been made by a violent encounter with another animal. Aside from the hole, the skull and related bones show no evidence of trauma. As such, scientists believe the hole was made purposefully by humans.Paleontologists and archaeologists have found similar holes in human skulls as old as 10,000 years."I have analyzed many, many human skulls ... all from the neolithic period and they all show the same techniques -- and the technique you can observe in the cow's skull [is] the same," Fernand...
Astronomers observe most-distant supermassive black hole yet discovered

Astronomers observe most-distant supermassive black hole yet discovered

Science
Dec. 6 (UPI) -- Astronomers have spied the most-distant supermassive black hole yet discovered using the Magellan Telescopes at the Las Campanas Observatory in Chile.The black hole is positioned at the center of a quasar, the massive, highly luminous accretion disks found at the center of many galaxies. The quasar's light traveled some 13 billion light-years before reaching the Magellan Telescopes.The new observations -- detailed in the journal Nature -- reveal the black hole as it was just 690 million years after the birth of the universe.Scientists were surprised by the black hole's tremendous mass, 800 million times the mass of the sun."Gathering all this mass in fewer than 690 million years is an enormous challenge for theories of supermassive black hole growth," Eduardo BaƱados, an as
Farthest monster black hole found

Farthest monster black hole found

Science
Astronomers have discovered the most distant "supermassive" black hole known to science.The matter-munching sinkhole is a whopping 13 billion light-years away, so far that we see it as it was a mere 690 million years after the Big Bang.But at about 800 million times the mass of our Sun, it managed to grow to a surprisingly large size such a short time after the origin of the Universe.The find is described in the journal Nature.This relic from the early Universe is busily devouring material at the centre of a galaxy - marking it out as a so-called quasar. Matter, such as gas, falling onto the black hole will form an ultra-hot mass of material around it known as an accretion disk. "Quasars are among the brightest and most distant known celestial objects and are crucial to understanding the e...
Scientists study whale's blow hole microbes with the help of a drone

Scientists study whale's blow hole microbes with the help of a drone

Science
Oct. 10 (UPI) -- Scientists have for the first time surveyed the unique community of microorganisms -- the microbiome -- living inside the blowhole of a humpback whale. They did so with the help of a six-rotor hexacopter.Researchers with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution used a custom-built drone to collect blow samples, the moist breath exhaled by whales, from 17 humpbacks off the coast of Cape Cod and from nine humpbacks swimming near Canada's Vancouver Island. The scientists sequenced the genetic material found in the blow samples to identify the microbes living in each whale's respiratory tract."We were using the drone to take aerial images of the whales, so that we could assess body conditions," NOAA researcher John Durban said in a news release. "Because of the stable flight p...
Observations suggest black hole formation scenarios

Observations suggest black hole formation scenarios

Science
Aug. 23 (UPI) -- Scientists at the University of Birmingham have identified formation scenarios of black holes by observing gravitational waves.The study, published today in Nature, utilized the LIGO gravitational wave detector in 2015 and 2017 to make landmark observations of gravitational waves.Physicists found that the first detected gravitational waves observed in 2015 were produced during the final fraction of a second of the merger of two black holes to produce a single, massive spinning black hole.The first formation scenario researchers found was that black holes are spinning slowly leading to something different happening to stars that form black holes than those in Earth's galaxy. The second scenario was that black holes spin rapidly, similar to those in Earth's galaxy, but that ...